When it was built in 1897, Detroit’s Bamlet Building didn’t have to contend with the loads associated with modern-day cooling towers, chillers, and other heavy rooftop HVAC systems. So when it came time to renovate the 3345-m2 (36,000-sf) brick and timber structure, the project team turned to comparably lighter-weight variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology and rooftop equipment mounts with footings for strategic weight distribution.
As many designers can attest, selecting the most appropriate HVAC system involves more than an off-the-shelf purchase. Designing a mechanical system for maximum energy efficiency, reliability, serviceability, and sustainability—while meeting the varying usage needs of the customer—requires broad expertise and a thorough understanding of key considerations in system design.
A typical urban and suburban environment has numerous sources contributing to the exterior ambient noise. Among these are the environmental sounds from a building’s heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment. How can design professionals help mitigate the distraction caused by HVAC?
As consulting engineers continually specify more sustainable HVAC technologies, they must ensure their designs comply with a variety of standards. Of course, when possible, it is even better to go far beyond those baseline requirements. In this respect, the University of Findlay’s $11 million Davis Building is a role model for future commercial mechanical technology.